Love My New Scorpio Doll!

I love this new little LOL Surprise Scorpio Zodiac themed doll! Where are all my fellow Scorpios? Sound off in the comments!

Autism – Pros & Cons of Early Diagnosis

Have you ever thought about the pros and cons of getting an early autism diagnosis? As someone who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in their late 20’s, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. I thought I would share a few of the pros and cons I’ve considered, but please be aware that these are my personal opinions and come from someone diagnosed with aspergers, so they may not apply to all situations or forms of autism. By the way, when I say “early autism diagnosis” what I generally mean is someone who is diagnosed in childhood, so they grow up knowing they have the condition and with access to services for the condition, as opposed to people who are diagnosed as adults and had to make it through childhood “blindly” in a sense.

Pros

  • Getting a childhood diagnosis opens up a world of support services and other helpful aids to you and your family. From school services to counseling and help with understanding social situations, the information and guidance offered can be immeasurable.
  • You understand from a young age what struggles you are dealing with. You have insight into where you likely have weaknesses and where you may need to work extra hard to succeed.
  • Your family, friends, and teachers understand your sensory issues and give you more leeway in how you react. In other words, you won’t get punished for being terrified of the sound of balloons popping and overreacting by yelling and crying, like I did in 4th grade 😦
  • A diagnosis of aspergers or high-functioning autism allows you to understand why you may feel so different from your peers. Growing up, I always felt like I was different, REALLY different, especially once I hit middle school and all my friends were into boys, makeup, clothes, and their social lives, and I couldn’t care less about any of it. It would have been nice to have known why I felt like such a misfit. To know that it wasn’t anything wrong with me, it was just the way I was made.

Cons

  • Being labeled with a disability from a young age can have a disheartening effect on a child. If the parents, teachers, and other adults around the child aren’t careful, the child can start to feel like they are “broken” or that they can’t do things that the “normal” kids can do. The worse cases of this I’ve seen personally are where the parents make excuses for their kids to the point that the kids never really have to work at anything. That isn’t good for anyone.
  • I wish it weren’t true, but being publicly labeled with autism can cause you to be bullied, mistreated, or left out by the other kids. I believe this is slowly improving, but we still have a long way to go. My husband is a special education teacher, and kids with special needs are still often isolated and can still be victims of social mockery. Unfortunately, it is somewhat human nature to exclude the “others” or the “outsiders”. We really need to work on that as a species.
  • Perhaps one of the best (and hardest) parts of growing up without a diagnosis is that you must learn to adapt. No one makes excuses for you. No one makes exceptions for you. No one medicates your problems away. I had to learn self-control, coping strategies, adaptive behaviors, and come up with creative ways to make life work. Was it hard? Hell yes! Was it good for me overall? Undoubtedly. It made me stronger and more able to cope with the stresses of the real world, which isn’t nearly as kind as school. With an early diagnosis, I would have missed out on those character building struggles.

So there are a few of my personal views on pros/cons of getting an early autism diagnosis. If you have any pros/cons of your own to share or want to share your opinion, please comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Mental Illness – Personal or Societal Issue?

Do you ever stop to wonder if the exploding rates of mental illness might signify that there isn’t a personal issue going on with many people, but instead, a societal or lifestyle issue? The pandemic has shown without a doubt that outside influences can make huge differences in collective mental health. The isolation, the fear of the virus, the missing out on all the things you love to do – these affected us hugely in the past couple years.

Even before the pandemic though, mental illness had been a steadily growing problem. Most of the time the medical establishment treats it all as a personal issue. You must have a chemical imbalance, a mood disorder, or you are doing things wrong and somehow causing your own problems. But what if WE aren’t causing the problem? What if the system is?

In our world, people have become increasingly isolated and lonely, way before the pandemic started. The internet has brought some great things, but it has also made it so that we rely less on real, local community. We were made to be tribal, group animals, but many of us have lost our tribe long ago. Even when we try to build a sense of community, I feel like many of us have no idea how to go about doing that in our disconnected, busy, hustle culture.

We also live in a world where many people are forced to work ridiculous hours at jobs they hate just to survive. And then they barely survive at that. They are swimming in debt and praying nothing major goes wrong between paychecks. Corporations are treated better and are often given more rights than us. We are told to consume and we will feel better, but that only leads to emptiness and more debt.

If you happen to be disabled, like me, you are often made to feel like you are a drain on society and are weak and useless. Depending on the disability, you can become even more isolated and lonely. Many of us have few close family ties to begin with, and frequently, family members and friends eventually end up moving away from each other so they can get a good job and survive.

And don’t even get me started on the corruption, genocide, and other downright criminal activity the government leeches off us to support. Or how we are out of touch with the natural world around us, and even worse, destroying it at a rapid rate.

Maybe it isn’t you. Maybe it isn’t me. Maybe it is all of us, and maybe it is time we make some huge changes.

Struggling to Blog – Depression or something more?

Lately I’ve really been struggling to blog. I don’t feel enthusiastic or motivated about it. I’m not sure if I’m feeling burnout or what is going on. Have you ever gone through this as a blogger? If so, what did you do? Did you force yourself to keep to your blogging schedule anyway and just trudge through it? Did you take a little vacation? Find some outside way to motivate yourself?

I don’t think it is simply coincidence that this feeling has come at a time that I have been fighting off a deep depression, but I’m not sure if that is all of it. To be fair, it has been hard to motivate myself to do much of anything lately, but writing seems especially tedious right now, and I feel like I have nothing of value to say anyway 😦

Affirmation of the Day

I love a good affirmation. I came across this one on a Reddit thread of all things lol, but really liked it and thought I would share.

"I'm getting better
every day
in every way
than the day before"

For me, the affirmation supports the concept that you should never compare yourself to others, you should only compare yourself to prior versions of yourself and try to improve your life in regards to that.

Annoyed

Ugh! I’m feeling annoyed right now. You ever feel like people purposefully do (or don’t do) certain things just to annoy you? I know that is probably a skewed viewpoint, influenced by my own sense of self-importance lol, but I just don’t understand why when someone says they will or won’t do something….they can’t just stick by their word.

Sorry for the rant. I couldn’t think of anything else to write about today because I’m so irritated. Maybe you could share something funny or interesting in the comments to distract me. I hope you all are having a better day so far than I am!

DEPRESSION CYCLE AGAIN

I’m really struggling with depression right now and have been for at least a few days. I honestly can’t remember exactly how long it has been because when I’m this depressed, days just run into one another and I don’t even have the motivation or desire to keep track.

I struggle to make myself do anything, but I try. I force myself to do my household chores, force myself to stick to my social media/blogging schedule, and even made myself get out and do things I normally enjoy, hoping it would help, but unfortunately, it hasn’t.

Right now I feel like I don’t care about anything, and I HATE that feeling, because I normally care so much. I really hate having depression/mood disorder/bipolar type 2 – whatever you want to call it. I wish I could just blink out of existence for a while and come back in a better frame of mind. If I was a drug/alcohol kind of girl, I would probably be turning to that for escape, but I guess it is lucky I’m not into that stuff.

My only consolation is knowing that at some point, it will pass, even if it feels right now like it won’t.